updated 9 Jun 2013, 16:17
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Thu, Jun 06, 2013
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PC answers don't win here
by Joy Fang

In this busy day and age, finding a life partner can be tricky.

But a group of single Singaporeans are getting some help from an online reality dating show, It's A Date!

The nine-parter, which premiered on Tuesday, is supported by the Social Development Network - but lest you think it is all a bore, the show, produced by online video network, does have interesting bits that hook you.

The show follows three cycles of three episodes each.

Three girls will meet three boys, and if there is a "match" - meaning a girl and a boy like each other - by the end of the first cycle, they will leave the show. The girls move on to the next cycle with a new girl. The line-up of boys will also be changed.

The first episode introduces the first three females - Charlene, 25, a student who is often seen as one of the guys; Immelia, 25, a marketing executive who is sceptical about love, and Joanna, 28, a booking agent in the nightlife industry who thinks people are intimidated by what she does.

Thankfully, the girls vary in personality. Charlene is a tomboyish girl, Immelia is more of the quiet, sweet type, while Joanna is the spunky and charismatic one.

They each give their own witty soundbites throughout, which gives viewers relief that it isn't just a show about airheads blindly searching for love.

The girls are introduced to three guys - Ferris, 34, an entertainer; Jason, 25, a gym owner, Derek, 28, a senior executive.

However, this happens behind a curtain, where they can grill the guys about anything.

Questions like "what do you think is an ideal date" and "what do you think of Singaporean girls" were tossed, but the guys seemed nervous and gave answers that were polite or safe.

They didn't make me sit up.

Case in point: Charlene wriggled her nose and mimed a yawn when Ferris gave a boring, politically-correct answer when she asked whether they'd like their girlfriends to be clubbers.

Jason, however, raised eyebrows when he said that Singaporean girls "may think too highly of themselves and think they are really hot or capable, so their guy must be hotter or more capable".

"There's not much love going on, but (the relationship is) more of a practicality," he said. Ouch.

The production value is relatively low - it is an online show, after all - but it still came across as polished and of good quality, with smooth editing.

By 12pm yesterday, the first episode already had more than 7,425 hits.

The show gets better in the next few episodes as you see the participants loosen up while interacting with each other through cooking and martial- arts challenges.

You find yourself intrigued as to whether a pair will end up together. But the main watch-factor is the ever-charming host Chua Enlai, who brings his kooky personality into the series and makes the show that much funnier. His expressions are priceless.

If you ask me, I'm watching just for him.

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